Community scheme brings ultrafast broadband out to play for nursery school in Knutsford

Two communities in Cheshire East to benefit from Openreach Community Fibre Partnership (CFP) New technology capable of delivering ultrafast speeds up to one gigabit per second

A partnership between a local nursery, residents and Openreach will make ultrafast fibre broadband available to 19 homes and a nursery in Over Peover, Knutsford and to five homes in Antrobus.

Speeds of up to one gigabit per second will be available to the children and staff of Kids Country Day Nursery and residents living in Patton Close, Over Peover.

The Over Peover deal includes a £10,200 grant through Openreach’s Community Fibre Partnership (CFP) programme to help towards the cost of extensive engineering work to deliver ultrafast broadband.

Under the CFP programme, communities can apply for a grant of up to £30,000 towards the cost of getting superfast or ultrafast broadband with Openreach if the new technology will also benefit a local school or learning establishment, or a registered UK charity.

Five homes off Sandiway Lane in Antrobus are also set to receive the ultrafast speeds to their homes after they also signed a CFP with Openreach.

All households in the community, which consists of an old farm house and four barn conversions, work from home and all have teenage children so the ultrafast speeds will provide an important boost for activities such as homeworking, online gaming and video streaming.

Engineers from Openreach, the business responsible for Britain’s largest phone and broadband network, will install the latest Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) technology - where fibre optic cables are run all the way to people’s homes, potentially providing enough speed to stream 200 HD movies simultaneously. Both projects are due to be completed by January 2019.

Kelly Jones, finance manager at Kids Country Day Nursery, said: “The ultra-fast fibre broadband is going to make a massive difference to the nursery as the current internet connection is so prohibitive. Using our management software is so cumbersome at the moment and we are very restricted in moving forward with new technologies to communicate with parents and families. We’ll be able to share information and photos about the children to our parent portal so much quicker once we have the fibre broadband.”

Graham Hunter, from Over Peover who led the community fibre partnership, said: “Nineteen homes and the nursery will benefit from the ultra-fast fibre broadband, including 14 affordable homes. We’ve got people who work from home in our community and young families who need the fibre broadband for homework and with our current speeds of less than 2Mbps it’s almost impossible to do things online in the evening.

“I would advise anyone who is exploring solutions to get fibre broadband to their community to talk to Openreach and see what grants are available as they may be surprised how relatively affordable it can be.”

Graham Powell, who led the local community’s bid for fibre broadband in Antrobus, said: “The deal we’ve done with Openreach to bring ultrafast fibre broadband to our community will bring an internet connection that will meet the needs of the modern family. It’s only going to become more and more important to have a fast fibre connection.”

Matthew Hemmings, Openreach’s infrastructure delivery director for the North, said: “This is another great example of how when the community come together and work with us we can deliver a cost-effective solution to bring ultrafast fibre broadband to an area that wasn’t in any planned rollouts.

“We know how important a fast internet connection is to residents and businesses in places like Over Peover and Antrobus and we’re working with more than 500 communities up and down the country to make this technology as widely available as possible.”

BT’s long term ambition is to help young people in the UK to make the most of technology through initiatives such as the BT Tech Literacy Programme, to inspire them to embrace the role technology plays in their lives.

The Openreach network offers fibre broadband access to service providers on an open, wholesale basis, so local households and businesses have a wide choice of services from hundreds of different service providers.

More information on community fibre partnerships with Openreach is available at www.communityfibre.openreach.co.uk